As all my avid readers would know I had a pretty crazy 21 days leading up to my time in Belgrade. It was awesome but tiring nonetheless! As a result, I was pumped for a month of just staying put and chillin’ in a city. Which is how it turned out…kind of…
Belgrade is such an interesting spot. Seriously! Not what I would call a pretty city but it definitely has its charm. The scars of conflicts of the past really are apparent with bombed buildings littered here and there around the city. The craziest part of which being, they were only bombed in the recent past.
Belgrade is a place that you really do need to dig into to find its gems. Unlike Rome which offers itself up to you, Belgrade you have to at least buy dinner first.
One thing that will really stick with me from Belgrade is the smell of smoke. People can smoke almost anywhere. One bar, Magic Garden, basically punched you in the face with a plume of smoke. Great bar but terrible for asthmatics. Bars and clubs on the river (Splavs) were no exception, the one thing all partygoers were guaranteed to take home was a set of clothes stinking like an ash tray!
Truth be told, Belgrade did a number on us on most weekends but during the week it was fairly smooth sailing. Probably the most awesome thing about the month was being a member of what we liked to call the Belgrade Party Penthouse. Made up of Ryan, Minho, Le and myself, this crew of housemates was awesome to have for the month. With an apartment overlooking the Serbian Parliament in the centre of town we had no choice but to live it up like the politicians do!
Having said that, we never actually had a party in the apartment… (the irony is not lost on me)
Our house was a sanctuary of good vibes, synchronised workout times with “dem funky beats”, Chinese degustation lunches cooked by Le in the tiniest kitchen in the world (I really hated that kitchen) and Saturday night debriefs on Sunday morning/afternoon.
After being in Sydney, I managed to bring a few delicacies from home which went down a real treat. Mint slice, iced vovos, pinapple lumps and, of course, Tim Tams were a hit! We even managed to hold the great “Mite-off” pitting marmite, vegemite and promite against each other. Promite, my favorite, won the hearts of the people confirming that vegemite and especially marmite are trash. It is official, you read it here first!
We also had an Aussie night where we watched The Castle. It was an absolute pleasure to share this classic film with my friends from around the world. If you can think of another movie that is better than this masterpiece, you’re “dreaming”.
On a heartwarming note, you will see in the video that we supported refugee Aid Serbia and raised funds for hygiene packs to be distributed at some of the largest refugee camps in Serbia. Huge props Jana and Starz who are doing an amazing job in Belgrade!
The month was not all smooth sailing though. With construction in our apartment building for our 3rd and 4th weeks in the city, we were struggling to get anything resembling quiet time during the day, let alone gentle a wakeup. Our alarm clocks were the sound of steel being torn apart by a grinder a couple of floors down. Only yesterday I heard some construction work downstairs and got a message from some of the BPP members mentioning they are struggling from PTSD! I feel you brothers!
Not only that, the day before we were leaving, one of my housemates Ryan and I found out we probably missed out on meeting the loves of our lives. The old ladies who ran the bakery across the street managed to tell us in their minimal English that they wanted to set us up with a couple of girls who came into the shop the day before. The hits just keep on coming. Guess we just gotta go back!
Shoutout for the month goes to the Asian restaurant on the block behind us aptly named “Asian Food”. For $5USD you would be served a mountain of food. Half a kilo of Asian goodness. I don’t know how many times we went to eat there but I think my insides are grateful to no longer have this “restaurant” as an option.
What a month it was but the travel train keeps rolling on. Marrakech, here we come!
I do have some sad news though, drones are illegal in Morocco. After some creative courier manoeuvres involving DHL and a visiting boyfriend of one of my travel buddies I will be getting the drone back in Buenos Aires (where I am currently) in the next week or so. Cannot wait to be reunited!
Oh and I forgot to mention, we also did a casual 5km colour run. Thank you Belgrade!
The reflective stuff
Travelling around the place has taught me a few things. One of which is your time in a city is heavily impacted by who you live with. Obvious, yes, but nonetheless, true! I have been fortunate to have some pretty cracking housemates these last few months but I have to say, living with the boys of the Belgrade Party Penthouse was something else!
Everything was super chilled, movie nights were had, days exploring the city and nights out were a blast. I can’t thank Ryan, Minho and Le enough for a fantastic few weeks at the one and only BPP!!
As always, take what you will from this post and keep your eye out for a Morocco post soon!